Friday, April 30, 2010

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life: How to Combine due Care for a Good Reputation with Humility

Praise, honour, and glory are not bestowed on men for ordinary, but for extraordinary virtue. By praise we intend to lead men to appreciate the excellence of certain individuals; giving them honour is the expression of our own esteem for them; and I should say that glory is the combination of praise and honour from many persons. If praise and honour are like precious stones, glory is as an enamel thereof. Now, as humility forbids us to aim at excelling or being preferred to others, it likewise forbids us to aim at praise, honour, and glory; but it allows us to give heed, as the Wise Man says, to our good name, and that because a good name does not imply any one particular excellence, but a general straightforward integrity of purpose, which we may recognize in ourselves, and desire to be known as possessing, without any breach of humility. Humility might make us indifferent even to a good reputation, were it not for charity's sake; but seeing that it is a groundwork of society, and without it we are not merely useless but positively harmful to the world, because of the scandal given by such a deficiency, therefore charity requires, and humility allows, us to desire and to maintain a good reputation with care.

Moreover, just as the leaves of a tree are valuable, not merely for beauty's sake, but also as a shelter to the tender fruit, so a good reputation, if not in itself very important, is still very useful, not only as an embellishment of life, but as a protection to our virtues, especially to those which are weakly. The necessity for acting up to our reputation, and being what we are thought to be, brings a strong though kindly motive power to bear upon a generous disposition. Let us foster all our virtues, my child, because they are pleasing to God, the Chief Aim of all we do. But just as when men preserve fruits, they do not only conserve them, but put them into suitable vessels, so while Divine Love is the main thing which keeps us in the ways of holiness, we may also find help from the effects of a good reputation. But it will not do to be over-eager or fanciful about it. Those who are so very sensitive about their reputation are like people who are perpetually physicking themselves for every carnal ailment; they mean to preserve their health, but practically they destroy it; and those who are so very fastidious over their good name are apt to lose it entirely, for they become fanciful, fretful, and disagreeable, provoking ill-natured remarks.

As a rule, indifference to insult and slander is a much more effectual remedy than resentment, wrath, and vengeance. Slander melts away beneath contempt, but indignation seems a sort of acknowledgment of its truth. Crocodiles never meddle with any but those who are afraid of them, and slander only persists in attacking people who are disturbed by it.

An excessive fear of losing reputation indicates mistrust as to its foundations, which are to be found in a good and true life. Those towns where the bridges are built of wood are very uneasy whenever a sign of flood appears, but they who possess stone bridges are not anxious unless some very unusual storm appears. And so a soul built up on solid Christian foundations can afford to despise the outpour of slanderous tongues, but those who know themselves to be weak are for ever disturbed and uneasy. Be sure, my child, that he who seeks to be well thought of by everybody will be esteemed by nobody, and those people deserve to be despised who are anxious to be highly esteemed by ungodly, unworthy men.

Reputation, after all, is but a signboard giving notice where virtue dwells, and virtue itself is always and everywhere preferable. Therefore, if it is said that you are a hypocrite because you are professedly devout, or if you are called a coward because you have forgiven an insult, despise all such accusations. Such judgments are the utterances of foolish men, and you must not give up what is right, even though your reputation suffer, for fruit is better than foliage, that is to say, an inward and spiritual gain is worth all external gains. We may take a jealous care of our reputation, but not idolize it; and while we desire not to displease good men, neither should we seek to please those that are evil. A man's natural adornment is his beard, and a woman's her hair; if either be torn out they may never grow again, but if only shaven or shorn, they will grow all the thicker; and in like manner, if our reputation be shorn or even shaven by slanderous tongues (of which David says, that "with lies they cut like a sharp razor "), there is no need to be disturbed, it will soon spring again, if not brighter, at all events more substantial. But if it be lost through our own vices or meanness or evil living, it will not be easily restored, because its roots are plucked up. And the root of a good name is to be found in virtue and honesty, which will always cause it to spring up afresh, however it may be assaulted. If your good name suffers from some empty pursuit, some useless habit, some unworthy friendship, they must be renounced, for a good name is worth more than any such idle indulgence; but if you are blamed or slandered for pious practices, earnestness in devotion, or whatever tends to win eternal life, then let your slanderers have their way, like dogs that bay at the moon! Be sure that, if they should succeed in rousing any evil impression against you (clipping the beard of your reputation, as it were), your good name will soon revive, and the razor of slander will strengthen your honour, just as the pruning-knife strengthens the vine and causes it to bring forth more abundant fruit. Let us keep Jesus Christ Crucified always before our eyes; let us go on trustfully and simply, but with discretion and wisdom, in His Service, and He will take care of our reputation; if He permits us to lose it, it will only be to give us better things, and to train us in a holy humility, one ounce of which is worth more than a thousand pounds of honour. If we are unjustly blamed, let us quietly meet calumny with truth; if calumny perseveres, let us persevere in humility; there is no surer shelter for our reputation or our soul than the Hand of God. Let us serve Him in good report or evil report alike, with Saint Paul;so that we may cry out with David, "For Thy Sake have I suffered reproof, shame hath covered my face."

Of course certain crimes, so grievous that no one who can justify himself should remain silent, must be excepted; as, too, certain persons whose reputation closely affects the edification of others. In this case all theologians say that it is right quietly to seek reparation.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis, Chapter 8

Shunning Too Much Familiarity

"Discover not thy heart to everyone" - Ecclesiasticus 8:22, but treat of thy affairs with a man that is wise and feareth God.

Keep not much company with young people and strangers.

Be not a flatterer with the rich, nor willingly appear before the great.

Associate thyself with the humble and simple, with the devout and virtuous, and treat of those things which edify. - Romans 14:19

Be not familiar with any woman; but recommend all good women in general to God.

Desire to be familiar only with God and His angels and fly the acquaintance of men.

We must have charity for all, but familiarity is not expedient.

It sometimes happens that a person, when not known, shines by a good reputation, who, when he is present, is disagreeable to them that see him.

We think sometimes to please others by being with them; and we begin rather to disgust them by the evil behavior which they discover in us.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

St. Alphonsus, Uniformity with God's Will

Part 1: Excellence of this Virtue

Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: "Charity is the bond of perfection;" and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God's: "The principal effect of love is so to unite the wills of those who love each other as to make them will the same things."

It follows then, that the more one unites his will with the divine will, the greater will be his love of God. Mortification, meditation, receiving Holy Communion, acts of fraternal charity are all certainly pleasing to God -- but only when they are in accordance with his will. When they do not accord with God's will, he not only finds no pleasure in them, but he even rejects them utterly and punishes them.

To illustrate: -- A man has two servants. One works unremittingly all day long -- but according to his own devices; the other, conceivably, works less, but he does do what he is told. This latter of course is going to find favor in the eyes of his master; the other will not.

Now, in applying this example, we may ask: Why should we perform actions for God's glory if they are not going to be acceptable to him? God does not want sacrifices, the prophet Samuel told King Saul, but he does want obedience to his will:

"Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices; and to hearken, rather than to offer the fat of rams. Because it is like the sin of witchcraft to rebel; and like the crime of idolatry to refuse to obey."

The man who follows his own will independently of God's, is guilty of a kind of idolatry. Instead of adoring God's will, he, in a certain sense, adores his own.

The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything. Our Redeemer came on earth to glorify his heavenly Father and to teach us by his example how to do the same. St. Paul
represents him saying to his eternal Father: "Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not: But a body thou hast fitted to me . . . Then said I: Behold I come to do thy will, O God." Thou hast refused the victims offered thee by man; thou dost will that I sacrifice my body to thee. Behold me ready to do thy will.

Our Lord frequently declared that he had come on earth not to do his own will, but solely that of his Father: "I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me." He spoke in the same strain in the garden when he went forth to meet his enemies who had come to seize him and to lead him to death: "But that the world may know that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I; arise and let us go hence." Furthermore, he said he would recognize as his brother, him who would do his will:

"Whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother."

To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. Blessed Henry Suso used
to say: "It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will.''

"Those who give themselves to prayer," says St. Teresa, "should concentrate solely on this: the conformity of their wills with the divine will. They should be convinced that this constitutes their
highest perfection. The more fully they practice this, the greater the gifts they will receive from God, and the greater the progress they will make in the interior life." A certain Dominican nun was vouchsafed a vision of heaven one day. She recognized there some persons she had known during their mortal life on earth. It was told her these souls were raised to the sublime heights of the seraphs on account of the uniformity of their wills with that of God's during their lifetime here on earth. Blessed Henry Suso, mentioned above, said of himself: "I would rather be the vilest worm on earth by God's will, than be a seraph by my own.''

During our sojourn in this world, we should learn from the saints now in heaven, how to love God. The pure and perfect love of God they enjoy there, consists in uniting themselves perfectly to his will. It would be the greatest delight of the seraphs to pile up sand on the seashore or to pull weeds in a garden for all eternity, if they found out such was God's will. Our Lord himself teaches us to ask to do the will of God on earth as the saints do it in heaven: "Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven."

Because David fulfilled all his wishes, God called him a man after his own heart: "I have found David . . . a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my wills." David was always ready to embrace the divine will, as he frequently protested:

"My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready." He asked God for one thing alone -- to teach him to do his will: "Teach me to do thy will."

A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint. Behold while Saul was persecuting the Church, God enlightened him and converted him.

What does Saul do? What does he say? Nothing else but to offer himself to do God's will: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" In return the Lord calls him a vessel of election and an apostle of the gentiles: "This man is to me a vessel of election, to carry my name before the gentiles."

Absolutely true -- because he who gives his will to God, gives him everything. He who gives his goods in alms, his blood in scourgings, his food in fasting, gives God what he has. But he who gives God his will, gives himself, gives everything he is. Such a one can say:

"Though I am poor, Lord, I give thee all I possess; but when I say I give thee my will, I have nothing left to give thee." This is just what God does require of us: "My son, give me thy heart." St. Augustine's comment is: "There is nothing more pleasing we can offer God than to say to him: 'Possess thyself of us'.'' We cannot offer God anything more pleasing than to say: Take us, Lord, we give thee our entire will. Only let us know thy will and we will carry it out.

If we would completely rejoice the heart of God, let us strive in all things to conform ourselves to his divine will. Let us not only strive to conform ourselves, but also to unite ourselves to whatever dispositions God makes of us. Conformity signifies that we join our wills to the will of God. Uniformity means more -- it means that we make one will of God's will and ours, so that we will only what God wills; that God's will alone, is our will. This is the summit of perfection and to it we should always aspire; this should be the goal of all our works, desires, meditations and prayers. To this end we should always invoke the aid of our holy patrons, our guardian angels, and above all, of our mother Mary, the most perfect of all the saints because she most perfectly embraced the divine will.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

St. Vincent Ferrer, The Spiritual Life


How to escape the snares and temptations of the devil

He who would escape the snares and temptations of the devil, particularly at the close of his life, should convince himself of two things. First, let him consider himself a corpse, full of worms, and a prey to corruption, a corpse from which those who approach it turn with disgust from the sight of so loathsome an object, and strive not to encounter the stench that exhales from it. It is thus, my dear brother, that you and I should always esteem ourselves; but I ought still more than you to be convinced of this, for I feel with truth that I am nothing but corruption of body and soul; that there is nothing in me but the stench of my sins and iniquity, which inspire horror; and what is still more trying, I feel, from day to day, this corruption renewed and increased within me.

The faithful soul should have this opinion of herself. It behooves her, to humble herself in the presence of God, Who beholds all things, and to regard Him as a severe judge, Who will demand of her an exact and rigorous account of her whole conduct. She will not then experience too great a sorrow for having offended Him, and for having lost the grace which He bestowed on her in baptism, wherein she was washed and purified in the very Blood of Jesus Christ.

It is not enough that the soul should acknowledge her corruption before God, and that she should herself be persuaded of it; it is besides requisite that she should be willing to afford this spectacle not only to the angels and saints, but to all mankind; and consequently ready to accept their contempt of her, their separation from her as from an offensive object, and her own exclusion from among them as one who is dead, with whom they have no wish to associate, who is no longer of their society, and who is to them something more loathsome than a leper; and this as long as it shall please God.

She ought, moreover, to be persuaded that men do her no wrong in this, but treat her as she deserves, even should they pluck out the eyes, cut off the hands, and inflict every species of evil on a body which has served to offend the God who created it.

The second thing is to desire to be humbled and despised, and to suffer not only with patience, but even with great joy, calumnies, injuries, ignominy - in a word, all that is most painful and humiliating.

It is, besides, necessary to have a great distrust of herself, of the virtuous acts she has performed, and of her whole past conduct; to turn herself wholly to Jesus Christ; to cast herself into the arms of this Divine Savior, Who reduced Himself to extreme poverty, Who suffered every species of opprobrium, contempt, and humiliation, and a most cruel death for love of us.

Die, then, to every human sentiment and affection, that Jesus Christ crucified may live in you, and that being transformed and, as it were, transfigured, you may have no other feeling in your heart, you may no longer hear or see any object but your Lord attached to the Cross, and dying for you, following in this the example of the Blessed Virgin; so that, being entirely dead to the world, your soul may breathe no other life than that of faith, thus, waiting that happy resurrection, when the Lord will fill you with spiritual joy and the gifts of the Holy Ghost; you, I say, and all mankind in whose conduct the fervor of the apostolic age should be renewed. Be attentive, then, to prayer, meditation, and pious affections, that you may obtain the gifts and graces of God.

Our dispositions towards God may be reduced to seven, which are:

First, to love Him with an active and ardent love;

Second, to fear Him above all things;

Third, to render to Him the honor and respect which are due to Him;

Fourth, to have a persevering zeal in His service. Joined to these are,

Fifth, thanksgiving;

Sixth, a prompt and fervent obedience in all that He commands us, and in as far as we are able;

Seventh, a relish for heavenly things, saying to Him incessantly,

"Lord Jesus, grant that by Thy grace my mind, my heart and even the very marrow of my bones, may be penetrated with fear and respect for Thee; that I may burn with an ardent zeal for whatever concerns Thy glory; that this zeal, O my God, may inspire me with a lively horror for all the outrages that have been offered to Thee; and let this horror increase in me, seeing that I have been so unhappy as to insult Thee, or that others have done so on my account. Grant that I, Thy creature, may adore Thee with profound humility, as my God and Sovereign Lord. Let me be penetrated with gratitude for all the graces and numberless benefits which Thy mercy has bestowed upon me, and let me be unceasing in my thanksgiving to Thee. Vouchsafe that I may for ever praise and bless Thee with a heart overflowing with joy, and that, obedient to Thee in all things, I may one day taste of the infinite sweetness of Thy eternal banquet, in company with the Angels, the Apostles, and all Thy Saints, however unworthy I am of so great a favor by reason of my ingratitude."

Having shown you what ought to be your dispositions in regard to God, I shall point out seven others, which intimately concern yourself.

The first is, to humble yourself at the sight of your faults and imperfections;

Second, to weep with bitter sorrow over the sins you have committed, and by which you have unhappily offended God, and defiled your soul;

Third, to long to be despised, humbled, and trodden under foot by all mankind, as the most miserable and corrupt of creatures;

Fourth, to subject your body to the most rigorous mortifications, and to desire to inflict on it still greater austerities, if possible, regarding it as sin itself or, if I may use the expression, a sink or sepulcher which encloses within it every species of horror;

Fifth, to bear an irreconcilable hatred to sin, and the sources and evil inclinations from which it springs;

Sixth, to watch unceasingly over your senses, all your actions, and the powers of your soul, that you may be always disposed to virtue and good works, without ever losing this attention and vigilance;

Seventh, to observe in all things the rules of that perfect moderation which knows how to discriminate between excess and defect, too much and too little; to retrench what is superfluous without encroaching upon what is necessary, so that there may be nothing but what is in accordance with propriety and order.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ratzinger denies a BIG dogma

The following information is particularly useful for solidly proving that it's theologically impossible for Fr. Ratzinger, a.k.a. Benedict XVI to be a Catholic pope or for anyone claiming communion with him to be called a Catholic.

First of all, we know from the infallible authority of God revealing that the gates of hell, that is, the vomit of heretics, cannot prevail over the Church.

Pope Vigilius Second Council of Constantinople, ex cathedra:
“…we bear in mind what was promised about the holy church and him who said that the gates of hell will not prevail against it (by these we understand the death-dealing tongues of heretics)…”

Now it behooves us to look at a BIG DOGMA, from the Vatican Council of 1870:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 3, #9: "So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema."

What does Fr. Ratzinger teach about this though?

WARNING: IF you read this in full and you still think that Ratzinger is pope or has any authority, then truly YOU BELIEVE IN NOTHING.

The strange and HERETICAL views on papal primacy of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, now "Benedict XVI," in his 1982 book Principles of Catholic Theology (English edition, Ignatius Press, 1987). Here is what he says (and has never, ever, ever retracted):

Certainly, no one who claims allegiance to Catholic theology can simply declare the doctrine of primacy null and void, especially not if he seeks to understand the objections and evaluates with an open mind the relative weight of what can be determined historically. Nor is it possible, on the other hand, for him to regard as the only possible form and, consequently, as binding on all Christians the form this primacy has taken in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The symbolic gestures of Pope Paul VI and, in particular, his kneeling before the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch [the schismatic Patriarch Athenagoras] were an attempt to express precisely this and, by such signs, to point the way out of the historical impasse.

[Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 198]

First, I find it remarkable that Ratzinger would judge it necessary to mention that one cannot simply declare a Catholic dogma null and void. If this is something he had to make clear to his readers, one seriously has to wonder just what kind of theology this man and his church have been teaching that could give rise to the notion that maybe one can simply invalidate a Catholic dogma. Oh well. Who is surprised? Looking at the twentieth century, what could possibly give one the idea that maybe some dogmas can be done away with?

Next, Fr. Ratzinger speaks of the "form this [papal] primacy has taken" in the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps I'm just misinformed, but somehow I didn't know there was a significant difference in the "exercise" of the primacy between Popes St. Pius V, Clement XI, Pius VI. Did you? What happened in the 19th century? Well, of course there was that despised Vatican Council, that real Vatican Council, that defined papal primacy and infallibility in 1870. A page earlier, Ratzinger said that the maximum demand the Catholic Church could make on the Orthodox schismatics would be "that the East recognize the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the full scope of the definition of 1870 and in so doing submit in practice, to a primacy such as been accepted by the Uniate churches" (p. 197).

Indeed, that would be the "maximum" demand, wouldn't it? I submit that at the same time this would be the minimum demand, too, but what does Ratzinger think about this? A few lines down, he says that "the first three maximum demands"-altogether he speaks of four, but we will only focus on the one I quoted-"are today rather unanimously rejected by Christian consciousness." Ah. What a nice admission that this is where ecumenism has led us. But it gets even better: "[N]one of the maximum solutions offers any real hope of unity" (p. 198). But it is the only way to achieve unity! Unless, of course, one does not consider the Vatican Council's teachings on papal primacy and papal infallibility matters of truth but only matters of practicality. Ratzinger goes on:

"What is at stake here is unity of belief, that is, the question of truth, which cannot be the object of political maneuvering. As long as and to the extent that the maximum solution must be regarded as a requirement of truth itself, just so long and to just that extent will there be no other recourse than simply to strive to convert one's partner in the debate. In other words, the claim of truth ought not to be raised where there is not a compelling and indisputable reason for doing so. We may not interpret as truth that which is, in reality, a historical development with a more or less close relationship to truth. Whenever, then, the weight of truth and its incontrovertibility are involved, they must be met by a corresponding sincerity that avoids laying claim to truth prematurely and is ready to search for the inner fullness of truth with the eyes of love."
[p. 198; bold print added for emphasis]

So, we see here that Fr. Ratzinger is quite aware that one must not tamper with truth. It is not up for debate. And so he then proceeds to make people believe that the definition of 1870 (that is, the definitions on papal primacy and infallibility) is merely a "historical development with a more or less close relationship to truth"- a statement that, I think, is clearly modernistic! In fact, he even implies that the teaching of Vatican I could still be modified and enlightened by "searching for the inner fullness of truth with the eyes of love," presumably together with the Eastern schismatics. (Doesn't that remind you of what John Paul II had in mind in Ut Unum Sint about modifying the "exercise" of the papal primacy?) It says a lot about our times that such drivel is now regarded as top-notch Catholic theology. I suppose that Fr. Ratzinger would suggest that all Catholics who hold to the definition of the Vatican Council in 1870 "prematurely laid claim to truth."

Now, why do I think that Ratzinger is applying this "truth vs. historical development" business to the Vatican Council's definition of papal primacy? Because he indicates that this is his intention in the very next paragraph, as already quoted. Let me repeat the salient points:

"Nor is it possible, on the other hand, for [the Catholic] to regard as the only possible form and, consequently, as binding on all Christians the form this primacy has taken in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The symbolic gestures of Pope Paul VI and, in particular, his kneeling before the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch [the schismatic Patriarch Athenagoras] were an attempt to express precisely this and, by such signs, to point the way out of the historical impasse."

So here we have, finally, a candid admission that Paul VI's actions were symbolic of a heretical mindset, since the "Ecumenical Patriarch," of course, denies papal primacy and infallibility as defined by Vatican I. (With this in mind, one may wonder what heresies were symbolized by John Paul II's kissing of the Koran, praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, or giving of a pectoral cross to the Archlayman of Canterbury.)

But it gets better...or worse, if you will:

"Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. When the [schismatic] Patriarch Athenagoras, on July 25, 1967, on the occasion of the Pope's visit to Phanar, designated him as the successor of St. Peter, as the most esteemed among us, as one who presides in charity, this great Church leader was expressing the essential content of the doctrine of primacy as it was known in the first millennium. Rome need not ask for more."
[p. 199]

Wow! Here Ratzinger makes it very clear that he considers the teaching of the First Vatican Council as non-binding, non-authoritative, and, I guess, false (or merely a "historical development with no real relationship to truth," which would basically amount to the same thing). He furthermore shows that he thinks the Eastern Schismatics need not submit to Vatican I (something Ratzinger doesn't do either, as we see here), which is heresy. So now you know why I can say that Ratzinger rejects Vatican I. Of course he doesn't do so all too manifestly. That is, he doesn't just say, "Vatican I's teaching is false and I reject it." Like any clever modernist, Ratzinger says that in Vatican I the exercise of the papal primacy took on a particular form that was a matter of historical development, and it only has a "more or less close relationship to truth." Then he attempts to make the reader believe that before 1054, the dogmas of papal primacy and infallibility weren't believed or taught by the Catholic Church either (a complete falsehood, of course), and hence we can't ask the Eastern Schismatics to accept it. Ratzinger is basically making the case for Eastern Orthodoxy here. If the Catholic Church had not held or taught the primacy of the Pope before the end of the first millennium, then Eastern Orthodoxy would be true and Catholicism false. Good job, Fr. Ratzinger!

But the irony of it all is astounding. Such a heretic, my dear readers, is now in Rome claiming to be the Pope. How the Neo-Catholics and the Neo-Traditionalists will try to get around this one, I do not know. Let them make the case that Ratzinger, despite his awareness of the definition of 1870, simply doesn't know that his teaching is at odds with Catholic dogma. Let them argue that despite having been the "official guardian of orthodoxy" for over 20 years, whose job it was to have known Catholicism inside out, forwards and backwards, he simply "doesn't know" fundamental Catholic dogma. Such an argument would be even more absurd than the claim that the star chef at the Sheraton hotel who only cooks for presidents, princes, kings, and queens, doesn't know what onions are.

The Neo-Catholics and Neo-Traditionalists now have a "Pope" who openly rejects Vatican I; a "Pope" who thinks that the definition of 1870 is a matter of historical development and not really a matter of truth. But boy, when it comes to the Second Vatican Council, there is no turning back, it's a matter of "irrevocable progress"! Do you know a modernist when you see one?

But wait! We're still not done yet. Ratzinger has not finished his heretical rant yet:

"Reunion could take place in this context if, on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while, on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox and legitimate in the form she has always had."
[p. 199]

I suppose this is what Ratzinger means by "unity in diversity." Here he attempts to have it both ways. The East will have to say, "OK, your definition of 1870 is not heretical," while the Catholic Church is supposed to say, "OK, you don't need to believe in the definition of 1870, just don't say it's heretical." And - bingo! - there's your unity! Ah, yes, that must be what he means with the bafflegab, "unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity."

Well, that's the theological madness the adherents of Benedict XVI will now have to swallow, I suppose. Of course what we have here is a fundamental contradiction, but perhaps Fr. Ratzinger is a Hegelian and so contradictions are not a problem for him but only a stepping stone to arrive at a "higher level of truth."

Since he is now the "Pope" of the Conciliar Church, Benedict XVI will have no internal obstacles to applying this heretical vision and making it reality. We have gotten a neat little preview on where his "ecumenism with the Orthodox" is headed. How many will follow him on this road, which can only lead to perdition?

Before I finish, there's one more tidbit I have for you from Fr. Ratzinger's book. Commenting on the schismatic Patriarch Athenagoras' "confession" of a heretical papal primacy of honor (addressing the Antipope Paul VI, ironically), Ratzinger muses:

[ I]t would be worth our while to consider whether this archaic confession, which has nothing to do with the "primacy of jurisdiction" but confesses a primacy of "honor" … and agape [love], might not be recognized as a formula that adequately reflects the position Rome occupies in the Church. . . .
[p. 217]

So, he makes it clear once more that he rejects the primacy of jurisdiction as infallibly defined by the First Vatican Council in 1870. This makes Fr. Ratzinger, now "Pope" Benedict XVI, a pertinacious heretic, for it is inconceivable that there would be any reasonable excuse that would absolve Ratzinger from being pertinacious, that is, aware that his teaching is in conflict with Catholic dogma. RATZINGER IS NOT IN COMMUNION WITH ST. PETER AS HE EXPLICITLY REJECTS HIS (PETER'S) TRUE AUTHORITY OVER THE CHURCH!

A quick reality check is perhaps in order here again. The First Vatican Council under Pope Pius IX defined the following infallibly:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 3, #9: "So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over ALL AND EACH OF THE CHURCHES and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema."

Pope Vigilius, Second Council of Constantinople, ex cathedra:
"And about that claim of the Apostle: Even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what you have received, let him be accursed. As we said earlier, I repeat once more: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you have received, let him be accursed.
"Since the Lord declares that the person is judged already, and the Apostle curses even the angels if they instruct in anything different from what we have preached, how is it possible even for the most presumptuous to assert that these condemnations apply only to those who are still alive? Are they unaware, or rather pretending to be unaware, that to be judged anathematized is just the same as to be separated from God? The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any individual, in reality brings anathema on himself, having cut himself off from the way of truth by his heresy. What reply can such people make to the Apostle when he writes: As for someone who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned."

But, no doubt, there will still be people who will try to say that despite all this, Ratzinger is the Pope nonetheless, as though a non-Catholic could be the Holy Father, the beacon of orthodoxy and principle of unity, the head of all Catholics. I, for one, will have nothing to do with such madness.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Feast Day of St. Hermenegild

Please read also:
Heretics will drag you to Hell, "Imposing" or Not

St. Hermenegild held to the orthodox Faith of the fathers, but was imprisoned for refusing to accept Arianism. He subjected himself to mortifications, and asked God to aid him in his struggles. During his captivity in the tower of Seville, an Arian bishop was sent to St. Hermenegild during the Easter Season, but he would not accept Holy Communion from the hands of that prelate. King Leovigild ordered him to be killed, and the axemen found him to be resigned to this end. He was martyred on April 13, 585.

Do we trivialize his holy death by receiving sacraments from prelates we know to profess heresy or to be in communion with heresy or schism?

Brave St. Hermenegild, pray for us, that we may rather die than to ever receive a sacrilegious communion from heretics or schismatics!

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beware those who cannot back up their assertions.

I have been recently in contact with a man who claims to be Catholic, and while he certainly professes many of the right positions, such as his rejection of the various antipopes, his assent to a stationary earth, the absolute necessity of reception of the sacrament of Baptism for salvation, etc., he nevertheless makes some problematic statements.

For example, he claims that the fact that Hell is in the earth is a dogma. This may seem like an innocuous statement, or harmless, but is it? What if I believe him and then I later on meet a person who doesn’t believe this? To be consistent I have to denounce that person as a heretic. But in doing so, lo and behold, I would become schismatic, since the person is not bound to believe it at all.

The pope has never made a dogmatic definition concerning the location of Hell, and nor does the ancient tradition of the Fathers propose with unanimity any answer to the question, otherwise we would not have this quote coming down to us through the ages:

Saint Augustine, City of God, Book 20, #16: “For as soon as those who are not written in the book of life have been judged and cast into eternal fire—the nature of which fire, or its position in the world or universe, I suppose is known to no man, unless perhaps the divine Spirit reveal it to some one—then shall the figure of this world pass away in a conflagration of universal fire, as once before the world was flooded with a deluge of universal water.”

Saint Augustine, in saying this, shows there was not unanimity among the Church Fathers, of which he was one, shows us clearly that Hell’s location in the earth has never been proposed by the Church as a matter to be believed by Divine and Catholic Faith, neither in the Apostolic Tradition, nor the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church. If a person believes it is elsewhere, or is simply not sure where it is and so does not fully embrace the proposition that it is in the earth, he is NOT A HERETIC.

Whenever someone tries to tell you that such and such a belief is dogmatic, or heretical, etc, ask him for the Catholic teaching that shows he is correct; MAKE HIM PROVE IT TO YOU.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christ is Risen Alleluia!

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen.

And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished.

Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here, behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him, as He told you.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?